“Me and my husband/we are doing better/it’s always been just him and me together”. Mitski’s fifth album, Be the Cowboy, is the Japanese/American’s second for Dead Oceans is a dynamic effort. The lyric comes from “Me and My Husband” which like many tracks presents a mature take on love and approaches the topic from one of many different angles. 14 songs appear over 33 concise minutes with songs working like quick snapshots into a particular emotion.
Starting with just an electronic guitar, “A Pearl” ends up euphoric when the horns swell a third of the way through. Mitski’s vocals are a treat on the swooning country track “Lonesome Love” before the guitar crunch of “Remember My Name” appears. Second single “Nobody” has a 70s disco feel while singing of the loneliness that envelopes a person when on the road whereas “Pink In The Night” is all atmosphere about the confusion of being in love or at least infatuated with someone. Like others we’ve listened to this year, Mitski varies the music style throughout but the short bursts of songs never outstay their welcome.